Former employee claims children's mental health center knew of a - | WBTV Charlotte

Former employee claims children's mental health center knew of alleged sex assault months before arrest

(Amanda Foster/WBTV) (Amanda Foster/WBTV)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A former employee of a children’s mental health center in Charlotte is coming forward, after seeing a WBTV story last week.

Last week, a separate source told us that Lavic Williams, a man accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, worked with her at Strategic Behavioral Center.

Now, a second person - a former employee - is coming forward as well, saying management there knew about this months ago, but did not take action.

Williams was arrested earlier in Nov. on charges including statutory rape of a child, and indecent liberties with a child. A police report says this happened at or near Strategic Behavioral Center in Dec. 2016.

This former employee says shortly after he heard of the alleged assault, he began pressing management there to do something about it.

“I mean, you had eye witnesses in certain occasions, and also from the journal of the little girl,” he claims.

The man, along with the first source we talked to, says Williams worked at the center as a supervisor, and his accused actions were no secret.

“I mean this guy walked around, he did whatever he wanted to do, to whoever he wanted to,” the man says. “And kept his job.”

The former employee says he continued to put pressure on his bosses, one of the last times in an email. In it, he writes to a supervisor that, “I was told on multiple occasions that [the situation with Williams] would be ‘handled.’ I have voiced my complaints about Lavic on numerous occasions, and I am now discovering nothing has been formally documented.”

“The CEO and the patient advocate at the time, she knew about,” the former employee says. “Most of the emails [were] sent by myself and other employees at that time, and honestly nothing got done.”

The former employee says the email received a reply from his supervisor, acknowledging there was an internal investigation going on. That was back in March. According to the police report, these alleged acts were not reported to police until September.

He says he continued pressing management about Williams, and that is when he got fired. Management made allegations against him of patient neglect, but he was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing after an outside investigation by the Department of Social Services.

“We spoke out, and got terminated,” the man says of himself and three other employees. “A lot of good people that actually care about their job and about the residents lost their job because of [Williams].”

Strategic Behavioral Center issued a statement about the incident:

At Strategic Behavioral Center Charlotte our most important priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents. We take very seriously all allegations of abuse and neglect.  To that end it is our policy to:

  • Conduct intensive background checks of all applicants for employment.
  • Provide extensive on-boarding for new employees as well as ongoing clinical supervision of employees.
  • Provide avenues – both internal and through third parties -- to allow anonymous reporting of any concerns by patients, families, employees or anyone else about patient safety.

The matter referred to in the police report came to our attention through a recent media broadcast. The former staff member who was arrested has not worked at the facility since July.

As soon as we learned of any concerns, we initiated a thorough internal review of this matter and our processes to ensure the safety of patients. 

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